Nancy Karlin, PhD
Type of Resources
Social media remains a popular form of communication making it important to look at this form of communications effect on users. Previous research has shown mixed results in finding an association between social media use and body image (Fardouly & Holland, 2018; Mackson et al., 2019; Saiphoo & Vahedi, 2019). These mixed results promote further consideration on how social media relates to body image. Social media intensity is one variable previously considered when examining social media use and an individual’s emotional connection. The current study looks at the relationship between the previously studied variable of social media intensity to less studied body image appreciation. For the present study, two scales were used, the Body Appreciation Scale and a modified version of the Facebook Intensity Multidimensional Scale. The Facebook Intensity Multidimensional Scale measures persistence, boredom, overuse, and self-expression as a way of measuring social media intensity. Beyond the two scales, additional questions were posed regarding social media use. 238 participants participated with most identifying as female and an average age of 20 years. There were no significant correlations between body appreciation and the modified multidimensional social media intensity total score. A significant negative correlation was evident between body appreciation and social media boredom, r(236) = -.210, p < .05, as well as between body appreciation and social media overuse, r(236) = -.151, p < .05. The results suggest various aspects of social media intensity relate more to body appreciation than others. This research is important because it provides another foundational layer on the impact of social media for body appreciation. Analysis of data points to the importance toward considering an expanded sample along with additional demographic factors. Limitations of this study include a limited sample of only college undergraduates thereby impacting external validity.